Renovation news for Oxygen Hospitality hotel

Ivy Palm Resort today unveiled plans for a transformational two-phase renovation updating guest rooms, lobby, outdoor pool area and restaurant into a modern, upscale hotel inspired by the resort’s heritage in downtown Palm Springs.

The renovation follows the change in hotel ownership, sold in May 2018 to owner-operator hospitality management company, Oxygen Hospitality. In addition to physical asset renovations, Oxygen Hospitality, which owns and operates a portfolio of branded and independent hotels, will rebrand the Ivy Palm Resort with a new hotel name, identity and amenities.

Phase One of the renovation — set to begin June 2019 with an anticipated fall 2019 completion — will tackle all 100 guest rooms and suites, two outdoor pools and public spaces, redesign of the main entrance and outside bar. Phase Two of the renovation, targeted for completion in 2020, will bring a new restaurant concept and additional rooms. The hotel will remain open during renovations and sectioned off to minimize disruption to guests at the property.

“The Ivy Palm Resort is a jewel property in the beautiful desert of Palm Springs,” said Yaron Ashkenazi, chief executive officer of Oxygen Hospitality. “Our new vision for this hotel – inside and outside – embraces the city’s rich local history of its people, architecture and design. Once repositioning is completed, the hotel will have a new name, a new look, instill the warmth of American hospitality and celebrate local influences for a first-class guest experience.”

HomeSmart Realty Partners enters Grand Junction, Colo.

HomeSmart Realty Partners, one of HomeSmart International’s franchises throughout North America, is pleased to announce the purchase of franchise rights in Grand Junction, Colo. 

Led by broker/owner Brian Marincic, HomeSmart Realty Partners’ office will serve agents and consumers throughout the Western Slope. Marincic, who joined HomeSmart in September 2017 as the HomeSmart CH4 franchise broker/owner in Wyoming, will operate the home office for western Colorado in Grand Junction. 

Brian has the experience of building a dynamic brokerage and culture for agents in Wyoming,” said Bryan Brooks, HomeSmart International senior vice president of franchise sales. “His expertise in running offices in similar mountain communities, makes him the perfect person to operate in Grand Junction.” 

HomeSmart International prides itself on being a brokerage model that supports its agents, brokers and franchise owners and is committed to helping its franchises grow. As an entrepreneur, Marincic planned for growth in the rural West and expansion to the Western Slope aligned perfectly with that vision.

“I understand these markets,” said Marincic. “I’m a small town guy, and along with HomeSmart, I’m always excited to expand what is a truly innovative and forward thinking business model to areas that probably aren’t on the top of most folks’ lists.”

AZ firm partners with Mexican President Vicente Fox

Proven Media, a full-service international marketing and branding agency for the legal cannabis industry, today announced it has been named public relations agency of record for CannaMéxico World Summit 2019, hosted by former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox.  

The international business trade event will take place April 25-26 at Centro Fox in Leon, Mexico. Proven Media will join representatives of the Marijuana Industry Trade Association of Arizona (MITA-AZ), a network of influencers advocating for international cannabis reform at the event. For information, visit

The agency previously produced a press conference to promote Fox’s Let’s Move On: Beyond Fear and False Prophets, and another for his keynote appearance at the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo in Phoenix. 

 “We are thrilled to work with CannaMéxico and President Fox’s Centro Fox team again. Cannabis is an international conversation and we are honored to be a part of it,” stated Neko Catanzaro, Proven Media’s vice president of branding and public relations. Catanzaro will be attending to coordinate international media at the event 

Wells Fargo donates $5.4M to support AZ nonprofits

Wells Fargo today announced the company donated more than $5.4 million to 415 local nonprofits, schools and community organizations in 2018 to help the communities and people of Arizona.

Wells Fargo’s philanthropic contributions build on a long history of collaboration with local nonprofits and community leaders to make a positive impact by addressing urgent community issues such as affordable housing, small business growth, access to education and supporting tribal communities.

When combined with the $2.8 million donated by the company’s 16,109 Arizona team members, nonprofits in the state received a total of $8.2 million from Wells Fargo and its team members in 2018. That amounts to an average daily donation of $22,707.

“Across our community, many residents are working hard to make ends meet,” said Don Pearson, Wells Fargo’s lead region president based in Phoenix. “Here in Arizona, we want to help people find a stable place to live, help small business owners expand, and help young people gain a quality education that prepares them for the workforce. We are determined to help people and communities, especially in underserved areas, succeed financially. We will continue to provide philanthropy, volunteers, expertise and other resources to revitalize and strengthen local neighborhoods.”

Beyond philanthropy, Wells Fargo team members in Arizona volunteered more than 115,000 hours in 2018 to support nonprofits and causes important to them. Local projects and efforts include more than 5,600 volunteer hours supporting St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and 2,100 volunteer hours supporting Junior Achievement projects and causes across the state.

“Part of what makes Wells Fargo unique is the generosity of our team members who help multiply our community impact,” said Pearson. “Sometimes giving time is even more valuable than money, because it puts our desire to build a strong community into action and gives us a tangible way to personally make a difference.”

United Way Worldwide recently recognized Wells Fargo for having the No. 1 workplace giving campaign in the U.S. for the tenth consecutive year.

Wells Fargo concentrated its local philanthropic contributions on addressing urgent community issues such as:

• Affordable housing. To help increase affordable, stable housing and homeownership in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, Wells Fargo collaborated with local grantees to provide homebuyer education, down payment assistance and other affordable housing solutions. Notable grants included $50,000 to Phoenix-based Trellis for homeownership counseling, financial access and neighborhood development; $15,000 to the Prescott Area Habitat For Humanity; $10,000 to United States Veterans Initiative for affordable housing/foreclosure prevention and counseling; and $10,000 to the White Mountain Apache Housing Authority for their veteran home rehabilitation program.

• Small business growth. Small businesses are critical to job creation and a vibrant community. Many diverse-owned small businesses, especially those in rural and low- to moderate-income communities, face unique challenges and often lack access to the full spectrum of resources necessary for growth and success. Nonprofits serving small businesses received grants to provide access to capital and training for entrepreneurs in rural and urban markets. Notable grants included $50,000 to Chicanos Por La Causa for the Prestamos program that provides small businesses access to capital through nontraditional small business financing resources; $25,000 to Coconino County Community College Foundation for the Small Business Development Center; $25,000 to Grand Canyon Trust for the Native American Business Incubator Network; and $9,500 to Nogales Community Development Corporation to support the city’s small business development and downtown revitalization efforts.

• Economic equity and inclusion. Support included grants to nonprofits that directly serve diverse and historically underserved groups, including initiatives focused on the development of women and diverse talent, education and vocational training, and other solutions for communities with limited access to traditional financial services. Notable Wells Fargo collaborations included $75,000 to fund Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s mission to forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity; $50,000 to the Greater Phoenix Urban League and $25,000 to the Tucson Urban League for career training and workforce development; and $35,000 to A New Leaf to support a job training program and financial capability, including volunteer income tax assistance.

• Access to education. Support included grants for local K-12 schools, scholarships for post-secondary or vocational training and financial education. Notable grants range from more than $100,000 to Junior Achievement to support its mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy and $45,000 to Be A Leader Foundation’s mission to increase the number of college-prepared students in Arizona to $7,500 to Lowell Observatory for the Navajo-Hopi Astronomy Outreach Program. Funding specific to in-school, curriculum-based program enrichment included $25,000 to Arizona Science Center for focused field trips; $20,000 to Scottsdale Arts for early childhood arts-education enrichment; $15,000 to United Way to sponsor a Vello online tutoring classroom; and $10,000.00 to the Arizona Council on Economic Education for their financial fitness and academic achievement programs, to name a few.